Meet Elliot Griffiths, NHS and school governor

“Go for it – you never know what you’ll learn, who you’ll inspire, or where it will take you next.”

We spoke to Elliot Griffiths, National Facilitator Operational Improvement – Blood Supply (Central Region) at NHS Blood and Transplant about why he decided to volunteer as a school governor, the insight he brings to the role as a young person, and the benefits the role has brought to his professional life in the NHS.

What inspired you to volunteer as a school governor?

I wanted to give back. I wanted to help support an institution, education, that had fundamentally given me all the knowledge I possess. I wanted to use that skillset which started development in my school, to guide and champion another. Governance has given me that influence and power to affect actual, meaningful change on the education of hundreds of learners.

Has volunteering as a governor unearthed or developed any skills that you use in your professional role?

Being a governor has helped me to understand the importance of society in our lives. It has developed my experience of leadership, having engaging and supportive conversations, and making decisions that matter. I have been able to transplant those skills into my day-job, leveraging the skills to further my own career.

What skills, insight or lived experiences do you feel you bring to the governing board table as a young person?

My recent(ish) departure from education myself beings a crystalised vision of exactly how my own education (and the governance of my own schools) really has defined who I am, this has galvanised my resolve to support and lead a school. Working within the healthcare sector, has given me the ability to work under pressure, deliver results quickly and develop symbiotic relationships with all stakeholders. These skills are completely transferable to the governance world.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a school governor for you so far?

Being part of a group that has an impact and can help shape the lives of young people. Challenging, supporting, and believing in education and educators, the equitable access to high quality education and the difference it can make.

If you could bust one myth about the role, what would it be?

That you need to work in education or have a background in education to be a governor – this is simply not true! I have no background in education at all – my whole career has been focused on healthcare and improvement. Sometimes these “fresh eyes” can help find new effective ways of doing things!

What advice would you give an NHS colleague interested in the role?

It might not be the same as your day job – but it is fun, interesting and a new challenge, it takes time and effort, but for every moment you invest, you will be rewarded. It can complement your career in so many ways and has the added effect of giving back to the society we all serve.

Go for it – you never know what you’ll learn, who you’ll inspire, or where it will take you next.

Thank you so much Elliot for sharing your story with us!

Are you looking for an opportunity that can support your professional development and gain new skills to support your career journey? Sign up to find vacancies in your local area and find out more about the role.

Read more about the role of school governor here